Sometimes the name is game. Bugsnax, a new game from Octodad developer Young Horses, aims to catch bugs made with traditional appetizing foods such as pizza, strawberries, carrots and lollipops. They are bugs, but they are made of treats. Bug … a snack? Bugsnax.
Combined with the game’s cute and colorful art style, it’s a wacky and capricious belief that will bring a smile to your face and inspire your imagination. A surprisingly strong desire to learn more about this world and its strange and wonderful creatures inspires every aspect of the experience. Its clever, somewhat temperamental puzzle revolves around catching bug snacks. The story sends you out to investigate the mystery of their home, Snactus Island and its settlers. And while the drive is purely superficial (your real motivation is to see all the clever Snak names and designs), the games you experience along the way have a lot of substance.
How can I start explaining what’s happening with Bugsnax? You manage an expedition journalist reporting an expedition to Snactus Island by explorer Lisbert Megafig. There she found evidence of ancient civilization and delicious and mysterious bug snacks. When you arrived, Lisbert went missing and her colony, Snacksberg, broke up. Your goal in most of the game is to find settlers around the island and persuade them to come back together. That way, you can understand the story and know what happened to the lost explorer. In most cases, “convincing” means giving them Bugsnax.
The world of Bugsnax is as colorful as a children’s book. All humanoid characters are big fur-eyed Muppet-like creatures called Grumpuses.I like food Hate All the bugs, I was happy to find Bugsnax all look adorable and attractive. (I think the key was to give them with all the Arts and Crafts style slapsticks.) Pulling the page from Pokemon, each has a clever and descriptive name. From forests to beaches, canyons and snow-covered peaks, explore the various biomes of Snactus Island, look for all the original little creatures, scan them to discover their properties, and discover their properties. Observing the elements is a pure pleasure. There are 100 Bugsnax, some of which are just pallet-swapped reskins, but finding new ones is always exciting.
But to satisfy the ex-citizens of Snacksburg, you need to do more than you can see. You need to be smart to get delicious French fries (French fries spiders), crumples (apple crabs), and ribbed centipedes (barbecue centipedes). Catch each type of bug snack and you’ll be presented with a unique puzzle. Each has a different set of properties that determine how they react to you, your tools, and other Bugsnax. Some run away when they see you, others chase after you. Some can be caught using remote traps, while others need to be neutralized in some way before they can escape and scoop them up on the net. Later, some of them are literally burning, so you need to find a way to cool them before making your move.
There is a toolkit that offers several options for working with Snax. Slingshot can be used to fire a variety of sauces such as ketchup, hot sauce, ranch, and chocolate. These sources act as baits or repellents, depending on what you are trying to catch. You have a trip wire that can defeat aggressive creatures and defeat snacks that are out of reach. However, you often need to use tools to bring the two Snaxes together and interact to make them easier to capture. In the early example, Bunga (hamburger bugs) are charged for everything covered with ketchup, so when a very clever Shishkabug (shishkabob bug that looks like an ant) hides in a bush and escapes a trap, it’s a hiding place You can throw ketchup to attract burgers and wash away shishka bugs. It’s rare to need more than one Snax to interact to set a catch, but the process of putting them together requires creative thinking. None of this is difficult, but you have to think outside the box and feel smart when planning.
The subject of your interview does not just want you to catch their bugnacks. They want you to give them Snax too. And when you feed them, parts of their body turn into the food they just ate (or something related). Early on, you’ll be able to choose which body parts to change, turning Bugsnax into a cosmetic item. Bugsnax can keep feeding your character whenever you want, transforming it into an increasingly abstract food mutant. No matter how much you change the Grampus, it looks friendly.
As a gameplay mechanic, it’s a bit overwhelming. Some later optional missions require specific settlers to catch snacks in specific colors and features and apply them to specific body parts, but that is actually how to catch and feed bug snacks. It does not affect the process. The story has some body-changing elements, so it doesn’t feel completely unnecessary, but the actual mechanic is really just for flirtation.
Bugsnax’s larger story unfolds primarily through conversations with the settlers after they return to Snaxburg. When they come back, you will have the opportunity to interview each one, learn more about their personality and background, and get clues to the greater mystery of Lisbert’s disappearance and the origin of Bugsnax. A comprehensive story is a page-turning proverb that motivates it to keep moving. It’s a bit predictable, but it didn’t prevent me from wanting to see how things unfold.
The heart of the Bugsnax story is not the plot, but the characters. They look like cartoons, are colorful and tropic, but Snaxburg residents tell a true personality and personal story if you want to hear them. After persuading you to return to town, each character has an optional quest line where you can help with your work or personal chores. Former gossip columnist Befika, who loves to be a singer, asks to spy on other settlers in the middle of the night. Archaeologist Trifanny wants to help explore the ancient ruins. It is always revealed that each character suffers from deeper personal problems such as loss and failure, depression, and difficulty in dealing with anxiety. Sometimes you will help them solve those bigger problems, but sometimes you don’t. But even when you can’t, there are inspiring, human moments when these characters reveal themselves to you. (And, surprisingly, having a strawberry horn or a burrito nose doesn’t diminish their relevance.)
Not surprisingly, the best quality of Bugsnax is its cleverness and charm. The surprise and joy you feel when you see Bugsnak wiggle or when someone eats it and turns your arm into food never disappears. By itself Bugsnax is worth your time, but creative puzzles and thoughtful stories give Snak a body and depth that makes it feel like a meal.